A friend of my husband had his small river house flooded last year when our region received a record amount of rain. Even on 10 foot pilings he had enough water damage to have to gut the entire place and start over. When it was stripped down to the studs and subfloor, he invited my husband and me over to take a look at his plans.
The cabin had great bones--a loft bedroom, beautiful herringbone wood paneling. It wasn't just a cool bachelor pad--it had great potential for anything. With the help of several dedicated friends it is now rebuilt, but way back in the beginning, it sparked a little "for fun" project for me while my husband lent his professional opinion architecturally. We weren't hired by them or anything like that--just some friends throwing out ideas.
Based on what I knew about him, and a few of the ideas he expressed implementing, I came up with a few ideas for the kitchen. He and his fiance (now wife) wanted to keep the overall nature-inspired feel of the space by using blue-stained plywood floors, pebble backsplash, and keeping as much of the wood as possible. If you're thinking "blue plywood??" you'd be surprised to know this is being done quite a bit. Plywood is an inexpensive and sturdy subfloor material, so someone out there had the idea of just sealing and making that presentable as the actual finished floor. In the right setting, I really like it. Because it's not an expensive finished floor, you have creative license to do whatever you want, and then change it up after a few years if you so please. Here's a few examples:
So anyway, I was playing around with ideas one night, and here's my take on the space, as far as planning goes. Most of the appliance and plumbing positions stayed as-is for ease of installation, and although the kitchen is tight, it had a well-functioning "triangle"--that is, the traffic pattern created between the three major zones: sink, refrigerator, stove.
Forgive the hairiness of my linework. Like stated, this was only for fun so it never got beyond pencil on graph paper. I tried to up the contrast as much as possible, but all-in-all, you get the idea:
The space beyond the stove was getting opened up to a pass-through for a small bar counter on the other side. Optimally, there would still be some cabinets since storage is limited by the size of the space. The french doors open up to the porch that overlooks the river. I get majorly jealous thinking about that aspect. I think overall I'm jealous of the space! Well, minus the whole 100 year flood possibility...
Moving onto the materials I came up with:
I won't go into detailed sourcing here, because a lot of it is just for inspiration and can be sourced many different places. The wood paneling in the cabin (as I stated) is beautiful. But it was a little dark and they agreed painting it was a very real option. I have to be really serious when it comes to painting wood, as I tend to be of the "natural wood" crowd, but in this case, I thought a distressed white wash would work well.
It was also their idea to implement the beautiful raw-edge wood shelving. I thought a dark cabinet finish and stainless counter would be a great combo to give the space a masculine and modern edge to go with the raw wood finishes.
But here are a few specifics for curious minds:
Caged Wire Pendant and Copper Pendant - Urban Outfitters
Antique Drawer Pull - Vandykes
Cabinets and Pot Racks - Ikea
Antique Kilim Rug - KayaKilims (my recent obsession--if you're not following her on Instagram you should be: @kayakilims. A lot of the most beautiful rugs she posts are gone before they even have a chance to list for sale. I've really had to practice self-restraint because if I had the money, I would certainly be talking myself into finding a place for one of her rugs in every room).
The title of this post is probably a little misleading considering I said he's now married ;) But I assure you she's certainly not one for a feminine kitchen. And really, I could have this kitchen in my house! Although it's meant to tailor towards a masculine dweller, really I think it appeals to anyone liking gender-neutral spaces. It could work in a city loft, a small apartment, or even a renovated older home (so long as it keeps with the design of the rest of the house). The blend of materials really creates a moody, inviting feel that would, in my mind, make a great gathering space. It certainly would not go un-noticed by guests! And I love a kitchen with personality.
I really should have shared this sooner, but since it wasn't a real project I sort of forgot about it until I was organizing all my project files. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did creating it! Sometimes I tend to go a little conservative when implementing a client's personal design style. While this creates great structure and guidelines for a project, sometimes it's fun just to let my mind go where it wants without having to impress anyone but me ;)
I think that holds true for a lot of professions--it's good to do things just for fun sometimes. It really helps you get back to the love of what you do!
Until next time,